Deferred ≠ Dead

Posted on Dec 29, 2015 12:00:00 AM

 

…and not just because colleges defer the living rather than the dead. However, you could hasten your possible death by doing nothing about your deferral letter.

Who said it best? Well, there’s a duel going on in this writer’s mind between two wordsmiths. Both are pretty accurate: Harrison Choate, a staff writer for The [Harvard] Crimson, who wrote in an April 12, 2014 article, “First of all, [if you got deferred] you did not get rejected. If they really did not want or like you, they would have had no qualms about rejecting you.” On the facing page, so to speak, is our own owner/mentor, Judi Robinovitz, who wrote in a February 15, 2012 blog, “If you weren’t rejected out of hand, then there was something about your application that made a positive impression.” (I haven’t chosen the better of the two, but I’ve got to acknowledge that both observations are awfully good.)

Deferred - Score At The TopSo if you’re thinking that you should do nothing more than bask in the glow of having almost made it, that’s okay with us if you’re content with the “basking” thing and willing to let whatever happens happen — but that’s not what we’d suggest for you if you still want to get admitted and are willing to try to influence what happens by taking action.

Here’s our “action plan”:

STEP 1

Unless the deferral letter says not to call, call the admissions office, ask for the counselor/admission officer who signed your deferral letter, and ask that person 1) why you were deferred and 2) if he/she has any suggestions about how to turn your deferral into an acceptance. Neither of those inquiries is likely to produce a helpful answer, but that’s not the point of the call, which is to show that you’re serious and very interested.

STEP 2

Follow up that phone call with a letter or an email to the counselor/admission officer who signed your deferral letter. In it, express your unflagging desire to attend and why you believe the school’s academic programs and you are a great match. Include in it specifics on what you’ll bring to the school community– what you hope to contribute in your own, small (humble) way to enhance it. Say nothing negative, and don’t whine or beg. Do let the counselor/admission officer know about any new accomplishments, such as activities, awards, and leadership positions, that weren’t mentioned in your original application.

STEP 3

If you have better grades and/or test scores, send them, but don’t bother if they’re not better.

STEP 4

Focus on your grades, because they’re still the #1 factor in admissions decisions. Don’t let non-grade-related activities interfere with the chance to show the school higher grades – early and often.

STEP 5

If the school will accept an additional recommendation letter, send one – but if, and only if, it’s “glowing” – from a current year teacher. The letter should mention the qualities that make you an ideal academic (intellectual) match/applicant for that school and could include the writer’s conviction that you will be a credit – both as a student and a future alumnus – to any admissions officer and school that makes the decision to admit you. Don’t be shy about asking the teacher you have in mind to include that very wording.

STEP 6

Ask your guidance counselor to call the admissions officer to support you, and if you happen to know the principal of your current school well, can ask him/her to call or write on your behalf.

LAST

It’s time to move on! Focus on all the other schools on your list. Keep them updated about your latest grades, scores, and accomplishments. Consider visiting or revisiting some of them. In the spring, you’ll have some positive admission decisions to look forward to from these schools. Remember: there’s more than one school that will be a perfect match for you – and professors at all of them who will inspire you to do great work that will culminate in a very productive and joyous life.

So, loosen up: The path that you’re on now might still lead you to where you want to go – or it might lead to somewhere that’s infinitely better. And if you can maintain that attitude, the latter is almost certain to come to pass.

Here are some early action/early decision statistics that may interest you…

 

Institution (Plan)

Applied

Admitted

Rate

Approx Size of Freshman Class

Approx % of Freshman Class

Link

Brown (ED)

3,030

669

22%

1620

41%

Link

Columbia (ED)

3,520

*

*

1450

*

Link

Dartmouth (ED)

1,927

494

26%

1220

40%

Link

Davidson (ED1)

458

207

45%

420

49%

Link

Dickinson (ED1)

251

220

88%

640

34%

Link

Duke (ED)

3,455

813

24%

1670

49%

Link

Georgetown (REA)

7,027

892

13%

1570

57%

Link

Harvard (SCEA)

6,173

918

15%

1800

51%

Link

Johns Hopkins (ED)

1,929

584

30%

1800

32%

Link

Middlebury (ED1)

636

338

53%

680

50%

Link

MIT (EA)

7,767

656

8%

1800

36%

Link

Northwestern (ED)

3,022

1,061

35%

2020

53%

Link

Princeton (SCEA)

4,229

767

18%

1240

62%

Link

Stanford (REA)

7,822

745

10%

1650

45%

Link

Notre Dame (REA)

5,321

1,610

30%

2000

81%

Link

UPenn (ED)

5,762

1,335

23%

2370

56%

Link

Williams (ED)

585

246

42%

550

45%

Link

Yale (SCEA)

4,662

795

17%

1360

58%

Link

* Columbia early decision statistics not available at this time

https://www.college-kickstart.com/blog/item/class-of-2020-early-admission-results?utm_source=newsletter_182&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert-class-of-2020-early-admission-results-update-1
 


Topics: Test-Prep

 

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